Types of Wines: A Basic Guide

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From a simple dinner between partners to extravagant parties with friends and colleagues, you will be sure to find a good bottle of wine tucked in a corner or in the centre of the celebration. Wine is perhaps one of the most reputable beverages around the world, and people drink it regardless if they’re feeling down or if they’re in the mood to celebrate a momentous occasion.

In fact, raising wine glasses in a toast and saying ‘cheers’ soon after is one of the most popular celebratory traditions in the world. You’ll be hard-pressed to know someone who doesn’t know what that means, which says a lot about wine’s impact in the world.

However, although a lot of people appreciate wine, its taste and the symbolism it provides, not many people really know the most basic facts about differentiating wines. We all know red wine and white wine, but beyond its colour and taste, we often don’t know the subtler differences among these drinks. To fully appreciate wine to its fullest potential, you should at least know the basics among the most common grape varietal wine types around the world.

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The wine basics: the need-to-knows about the most common types of wine

Discussing all kinds of wine in detail would take a hundred thousand words. With the hundreds to thousands of wine varieties worldwide, a single article could never be enough to thoroughly discuss and understand the subtle nuances of the art of wine-making and wine appreciation.

There are variations to the ways people have cultivated and produced wine through the years across all territories. Studying all that there is to know about wine will take you a lifetime. But if you want to know more about the basics of wine, here’s a simple guide that will help you have an idea about the most common types of wine around:

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· Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a red wine variety that often has flavours of cranberry, cherry, or floral rose. Usually, you will also get subtle notes of beet, mushroom, and rhubarb. Among red wines, Pinot Noir is one of the lighter-bodied varieties.

Often, this red wine has a smooth and low tannin finish, with high acidity levels and a dry texture. It is excellent with meat, cream sauces, and soft cheeses. If you love Pinot Noir, you will probably appreciate similar wines like Gamay from France and Schiava from Italy.

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· Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabaret Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine with tastes of oak cedar, black currant, baking spices, and black cherry. This is probably one of the most famous wine varieties in the world, with a persistent finish that is aided by its high alcohol content and tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with beef, lamb, and smoked meats. Additionally, you can pair this wine with cheeses like pecorino and aged cheddar. The wine types most similar to Cabernet Sauvignon are Cabernet Franc, The Bordeaux Blend, Merlot, and Carmenere.

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· Chardonnay

When it comes to white wine, the style of Chardonnay falls under the medium to full-bodied wine. Chardonnay often has tastes of yellow citrus, apples and pears, and tropical fruits. You’ll also find hints of vanilla, toasted caramel, and butterscotch notes from Chardonnay.

Depending on the way the Chardonnay was aged, it can have differences in its taste. Usually, this white wine tastes lighter and fresher when aged unoaked. On the other hand, this type of wine will have a spicier note with hints of bourbon if it has been oak-aged.

Chardonnay goes well with seafood like crab, shrimp, and lobster. You’ll also have a good match if you pair Chardonnay with cheeses like Gruyere and triple cream brie.

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· Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a light to medium-bodied white wine that typically comes with bold citrus flavour. You can also get hints of fruits like passionfruit, kiwifruit, and honeydew melon, and even notes of green flavours including green pepper, mint, and grass.

This type of wine goes well with nutty cheeses like Gruyere and even herb-crusted goat cheese. You can also complement Sauvignon Blanc with veal, pork, fish, and chicken if you’re looking for a fuller meal. If you’re interested in looking for wines with similar taste to Sauvignon Blanc, you can look at Verdejo from Spain, Vermentino from Italy, or even Gruner Veltliner from Austria.

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· Riesling

If you are looking at the most complex-tasting wines in the world, you’ll probably end up seeing Riesling at the upper half of the list. This white wine is aromatic, with strong fruit and floral scents. When it comes to taste, Riesling will often remind people of fruits from white peach and nectarine to lemon juice and kefir lime. You’ll also taste hints of sweet herbal and floral flavours when you try out Riesling.

One of the reasons that this is one of the most complex wines is its combination of sweetness and acidity. Although this wine is most often highly acidic, there’s a certain balance that the sweetness brings, making the wine taste full and hearty.

You can pair Riesling with fondue and washed-rind cheeses. You can also drink it when eating pork, turkey, cured meats, and chicken. The wines that have the most similar flavour to Riesling are Moscato, Chenin Blanc, Torrontes, and Gewurztraminer.

Know more about your favourite wine with Hunter Valley Amazing Wine Tours

There’s a lot more to learn about wine that will help increase your appreciation and understanding of the intricacies of wine-making. You should venture out and learn more about wine by doing wine tours and vineyard tours around Hunter Valley.

If you are planning on going to Hunter Valley, you should definitely take a wine tour.

Experience the pleasure of tasting and knowing more about the types of wines in Hunter Valley with us. To know more about how we can help you, contact Hunter Valley Amazing Wine Tours today!